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Spectral control via multi-species effects in PW-class laser-ion acceleration

  • Author(s): Huebl, A;
  • Rehwald, M;
  • Obst-Huebl, L;
  • Ziegler, T;
  • Garten, M;
  • Widera, R;
  • Zeil, K;
  • Cowan, TE;
  • Bussmann, M;
  • Schramm, U;
  • Kluge, T
  • et al.
Abstract

Laser-ion acceleration with ultra-short pulse, petawatt-class lasers is dominated by non-thermal, intra-pulse plasma dynamics. The presence of multiple ion species or multiple charge states in targets leads to characteristic modulations and even mono-energetic features, depending on the choice of target material. As spectral signatures of generated ion beams are frequently used to characterize underlying acceleration mechanisms, thermal, multi-fluid descriptions require revision for predictive capabilities and control in next-generation particle beam sources. We present an analytical model with explicit inter-species interactions, supported by extensive ab initio simulations. This enables us to derive important ensemble properties from the spectral distribution resulting from these multi-species effects for arbitrary mixtures. We further propose a potential experimental implementation with a novel cryogenic target, delivering jets with variable mixtures of hydrogen and deuterium. Free from contaminants and without strong influence of hardly controllable processes such as ionization dynamics, this would allow a systematic realization of our predictions for the multi-species effect.

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